About a year ago, I was sitting in my bedroom intently reading an article until I noticed my two year old toddler was extremely quiet. I’m not sure if you guys have any children, but that is an evident sign something is happening. When I hadn’t heard his little mumbles for a while, I felt a sense of peace knowing that my two older children might be watching him, but then all of a sudden, I felt the need to get up and check on him.

I immediately jumped out my bed and dashed into the hallway yelling his name.

“Austin!” I yelled. “Austin!” I yelled again.

All of a sudden, I saw it. My questions for why there was utter silence had been answered. I beheld my two year old toddler pacing towards me with streaks of black

markings scribbled all over his body.

I yelled out, “Jaida, come here! Ethan, where are you?”

I frantically grabbed him and moaned, “What have you done?”

He looked up at me confused as if I should be praising him for his spontaneous artistry. My oldest daughter, Jaida, then said, “Mom, look at the wall!”

The initial disbelief I felt was then multiplied by ten! While trying to fathom all that transpired in two minutes, my middle son, Ethan, tapped me and warily said, “Mom…look at the stairwell.”

At this point, I didn’t know whether to drop to my knees in frustration or run down the street screaming and yelling in despair.

All three of my children were standing in front of a wall that was previously white, but now scribbled with black marker.

Just when I thought I had a solution, I realized that the hallway was the preliminary of a much bigger catastrophe. As my eyes began to travel, from one wall to the next, I felt myself becoming overwhelmed. I threw my hands up and started to walk back into my bedroom, and to my surprise, Austin continued his artistry debut along the edges of my carpet, and barely missed my snow-white plush rug. My toddler showcased his scribbling skills on his body, my right and left wall, my staircase, and my bedroom.

The most astonishing thing to me was that a vast amount of damage had transpired in such a short amount of time right in my presence.

I took a moment and tried to rationalize where I should start to write this wrong. I entertained the idea of reprimanding him, and even considered punishing my two older children for neglecting to keep an eye on him while I indulged in reading my article.

Then it hit me. How could I blame anyone other than myself? I was wrong. I was not watchful. To my own shame, I was consumed with my current interests, and it put me in a preventable predicament.

It was time for me totake responsibility for my own actions.

Y’all know me, and that I always interject a spiritual perspective.

As I began to run Austin’s bathwater, I requested that my daughter search Google to find ways to remove the black marks covering my home.

I could hear God speaking to me, saying this is how quickly things can change when you are not watchful.

All of the effort that it would take for me to correct the wrong that my son did would not be necessary had I simply been watchful. I could blame my other children for what transpired just like we often blame others for the consequences that accompany the wrong choices we make.

I had to clean my son, just like God has to clean us at times. I had to extensively scrub the stairway and walls, and only a small portion of his art was removable. Often, the residue of our engagement in wrong doings is not easily removed either. Now, I will have to paint over Austin’s artwork.

After I finished bathing him, I explained to him the severity of what he had done, and of course, he did not understand the consequences of his actions. I became even more frustrated as I began to hear Austin utter things like, “Ma, I love you. Ma, see, see!” and his favorite phrase, “Ok, schfine,” which is interpreted as, “Ok, fine.”

At this point, I surrendered to the bubbling urge to laugh, and released an unavoidable chuckle.

My laughter finally released despite my overwhelming feelings of exasperation. I couldn’t help but reflect on the scripture that says,

Proverbs 17:22

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bone.”

Finding the positive in this situation prevented me from residing in despair longer than necessary. Thank God for laughter. #AskSara (Bible Humor)

I had to accept my circumstances, and take the necessary steps to write my wrongs. After the situation had finally simmered down, I talked with all three of my children about being watchful and mindful of what’s happening around us. I have since made a conscious effort to monitor my son, and keep all writing utensils completely out of his reach. The black marks on my wall and the visual of Austin covered in scribble inscribed in my mind are a constant reminder of what can happen when I don’t adequately prioritize my focus.

We can find ourselves getting comfortable, and put less effort into being watchful. So many aspects of our lives can be negatively affected when we do this, as were so many aspects of my home. Just like that, things can go wrong.

Question is: what steps can we take to make them write?

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